Steely Dan

The Steely Dan Orchestra

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The Steely Dan Orchestra is a result of the Dan's 1993 reunion tour. A lengthy two-disc set recorded in Columbia, MD on Aug. 8, 1993, the "orchestra" features superb horns and percussion, with Peter Erskine at the drums and Bill Ware on vibes. Fagen and Becker are in good form, but the absence of former first-rate session guitarists like Jeff "Skunk" Baxter or Larry Carlton, among others, is evident, resulting in a workman-like presentation of the material. It seems that "extra something" is missing, and needed. The band plays all the hits with straightforward, no-frills renditions -- solid but occasionally lackluster. The pace and groove slow to a near stop each time Becker performs a composition from his then unreleased solo project. On the other hand, Fagen's solo compositions blend well with Steely Dan classics. Highlights are few but include the closing "FM" and Erskine's drum solo on "Josie." Released in Italy in 1994 on Home Records, this bootleg recording has uniformly excellent sound quality.

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